Britney Spears says Wembanyama’s security struck her in Las Vegas, Spurs rookie says he was grabbed

FILE - Britney Spears appears at the 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 12, 2018, left, and San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball first round draft pick Victor Wembanyama speaks during a news conference in San Antonio on June 24, 2023. Wembanyama said Thursday, July 6, 2023, that he believes Britney Spears grabbed him from behind as he was walking into a restaurant at a Las Vegas casino, and that the security detail he was with pushed the pop star away. (AP Photos by Chris Pizzello, left, and Eric Gay, File)

LAS VEGAS — San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama said Thursday he believes Britney Spears grabbed him from behind as he was walking into a restaurant at a Las Vegas casino, and that the security detail he was with pushed the pop star away.

Wembanyama said he wasn’t told that Spears was the person who grabbed him until hours later, and that he never actually saw her.

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Spears, who filed a report with Las Vegas police, said in posts on Twitter and Instagram that the run-in was “super embarrassing,” and denied grabbing Wembanyama, saying she only “tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.”

She said she had recognized him earlier in the evening and when seeing the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft — a 7-foot-3 French standout who is entering the NBA with as much acclaim as anyone since LeBron James 20 years ago — and she “decided to approach him and congratulate him on his success.”

Spears said, “His security then back handed me in the face without looking back, in front of a crowd. Nearly knocking me down and causing my glasses off my face.”

Police said a report was filed on an incident at the Aria Resort &Casino, but gave no further details.

Spears’ attorney Mathew Rosengart declined comment, citing the police investigation.

Wembanyama said security advised him to not stop for anyone as he walked into the restaurant, mindful that pausing could cause a stir and allow a crowd to build.

“Something did happen, a little bit, when I was walking with some security from the team to some restaurant,” Wembanyama said.

“I couldn’t stop. That person was calling me, ‘Sir, sir,’ and that person grabbed me from behind. I didn’t see what happened because I was walking straight and didn’t stop. That person grabbed me from behind — not on my shoulder, she grabbed me from behind. I just know the security pushed her away.”

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